The Museum of Tolmeita, also known as Ptolemais
Museum, houses a number of archaeological
treasures and ruins that were found in
the region, such as statues, including
those of the Libyan Medusa and Cleopatra,
columns, tablets, burial and funerary
objects, and several mosaic floors, from
the Punic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine
periods. One of the most unique exhibits
of the museum, and of historical importance,
is a price tablet showing prices of goods
in the Roman empire, dating to the
301 AD. The finds have attracted nearly
The museum was originally a store house used
during the Italian occupation, in which
a number of archaeological artifacts
ended up for storage, and most of which
still are, to this day, piled up in its
store rooms, yet to catalogued and given
a place in the museum. The store house
was turned into a museum during the 1960s.
Some of the finds are actually still
outside the museum with no protection
from the elements whatsoever, as clearly
visible in some of the photos. In fact,
the museum was already burgled twice
in its short life: once in 1989, and
then in 2005.
A statue of a woman with the head of Demeter and the body of Venus.
A commanding statue of the Goddess Athena whom the Greeks had adopted from Libyan Tannit, The Libyan Goddess Neith whom the ancient Egyptians before them widely venerated as Net or Nit.
A marble fountain with dancing maidens.
A sarcophagus fragment showing the Libyan Amazons in
It was found in Wadi (Valley) Khamish, west of Tolmeita.
From the 2nd century AD.
The Goddess Athena, from the Roman period.
Archaic funerary statues, found in the city of Barce (Al-Marj), south of
Tolmeita, and dating from the 5th century BC.
Statue of the Goddess Artemis (Diana).
This is a Roman copy of the original Greek,
found in the
The Four Seasons
Mosaic from the Colonnaded Palace.
Mosaic panels from a floor found in the Colonnaded Palace, from the 1st
Unsorted pieces still outside the museum building.
Tolmeita Museum is cracking and requires urgent attention